It's been a long time since I've read the Uglies series, and as such, I was kind of confused about a lot of what what going on in the graphic novel. I...moreIt's been a long time since I've read the Uglies series, and as such, I was kind of confused about a lot of what what going on in the graphic novel. I knew I would understand it if I'd read Uglies recently(-ish), but because it had been so long, I didn't understand, and it frustrated me. I recommend reading right after Uglies, if not the whole series. I thought I'd like it more because the whole back-story/alternate perspective thing has always been something I enjoy, but without the understanding granted by the novels, I mostly felt lost. Perhaps I'll reread the series and visit the graphic novels afterward.(less)
I actually listened to a Playaway, but it's the same book with the same narrator, so this is good enough. Also, thank god(-ess? gods? Whatever) Harkne...moreI actually listened to a Playaway, but it's the same book with the same narrator, so this is good enough. Also, thank god(-ess? gods? Whatever) Harkness didn't go into much detail in her couple-y bits. It's bad enough to have to read that kind of thing in the privacy of my bedroom, but to have someone – a stranger – read it to me? While I'm in my car driving to or from work? (This is primarily where I listen, because it's where I most often have time to get through a chapter uninterrupted.) No end to the embarrassment. The only saving grace would be the no-one-with-me part.
That said, I want to know what happens next! I just wish I'd known that it was the first of a trilogy when I started it. There was no indication when I added the book to my list from the GoodReads giveaway; it wasn't in the library record when I requested it; it wasn't even on the Playaway's mini-cover. Yes, it's mini, but can't you fit a small-ish, but still noticeable numeral 1 on there somewhere? However, I also feel like it reads kind of like a "What if Twilight didn't suck?" experiment. Bella's actually smart (usually) and on equal paranormal footing with her vampire (kind of); and the world of paranormal creatures doesn't want her to be with her controlling, vampy mister (who does not glitter, thank goodness); and the controlling element in that world especially don't want her making babies with him. But I'm pretty sure Twilight doesn't have anything like the science that's in this series. And while the relationship between Diana and Matthew seems rather hurried and insta-love-ish, it develops beyond that and establishes a solid foundation. And I stink at reviews, so I'm stopping now.(less)
I couldn't decide if I wanted to give it 3 or 4 stars. 3 stars = "liked it" and 4 stars = "really liked it," so I decided to go with three, though I'm...moreI couldn't decide if I wanted to give it 3 or 4 stars. 3 stars = "liked it" and 4 stars = "really liked it," so I decided to go with three, though I'm somewhere between the two. And that is all I have to say. Sorry.(less)
I read this years ago, and bits of it have stuck with me through all that. I always remembered that it was the first book of several, but could never...moreI read this years ago, and bits of it have stuck with me through all that. I always remembered that it was the first book of several, but could never remember what it was, let alone what the next one would be, so I couldn't finish the series. But then I saw the series the other day at work and went, "That's it!" And here we are. I didn't remember it being such a fantastic cliff-hanger, but I mind less now that I know where to get the next book. I love working in a library! Were I healthy and vital right now, I probably would have felt this book was too young for me, but when I'm ill, I age backwards at super-speed. That, plus previous knowledge of sequels I haven't read, made this more engaging. Though I did fall asleep mid-chapter. But I'm ill, what can you expect? I'll give four stars, since I remembered so much.(less)
I was listening to this on my drive from job 1 to job 2 when the end came along. When the reader started going through the "This is so-and-so reading...moreI was listening to this on my drive from job 1 to job 2 when the end came along. When the reader started going through the "This is so-and-so reading such-and-such…" I literally said, "That's it!?" First, that ending! I want a sequel! But I know a sequel could (would) ruin it. I'm so torn! Second, I need a few more seconds between the last line and the "This is so-and-so…" spiel. I was waiting for the next chapter, and reader doesn't change, obviously, so I hear the reader's name and I'm thinking, "That sounds famil– Oh."
So, this was the first time I've ever listened to an audiobook before, so this review is mostly going to be addressing what I thought of the Playaway I listened to. Sorry, Levithan.
I checked out a Playway because I'm used to reading while I commute, but my commute is no longer via train. I'm driving myself, and there aren't any good radio stations in my area anymore. So I figured I could listen to a book while I drive. However, I was worried that I'd be too busy being a good driver to really hear what was going on in the book. But I was wrong! yay. I don't feel the Playaway makes me a worse driver – I only mess with it at red lights and in parking spaces. And I don't think driving causes me to miss important bits – except when some nutbar tries to kill me, and now that I know how to go back one minute instead of 17 minutes, I don't mind missing the little bit while I avoid an accident.
A critique of the physical Playaway case: I need two extra buttons for "fast forward" and "rewind" instead of requiring that you press and hold the skip buttons. I don't know how many times I didn't hold the button firmly enough and the recording skipped to the beginning of the chapter. Usually, I just wanted to go back a couple of seconds because I passed a semi and missed a sentence; but the recording would go back as many as 25 minutes (sometimes less) that I would then have to fast-forward through to get to where I wanted to be. Drove me right up the wall. Which is really hard in a car.
My biggest problem with an audiobook in general is that driving is really the only thing I can do while listening. Anything else takes too much focus to hear the book; or I would lose focus on my other task with listening, thus screwing said task up. I really wanted to listen to more of the book while I wasn't driving, but I always got antsy, feeling like I should be doing something. Like, with my hands. But there is nothing.
My last thought on the format: I think having some bits of the book read to me, with a human voice and emotion and all that jazz, actually made it more meaningful. Other bits might have been better on a page, but some just impacted me more to hear a voice saying it. Does that make sense? Anyway, that was kind of nifty.
So, to conclude my review of the medium: Playaways aren't perfect, but better than I thought they would be.
With regard to the book itself, I really want to read a physical copy now. Which means it's good enough to read twice. Which is pretty good. I had to force myself not to check out a hard copy at work the after I finished the Playaway. Ha.(less)
If you haven't read this book and want to, really, really don't read the spoilers. They're spoilers for a reason. I was going to give it a four, becau...moreIf you haven't read this book and want to, really, really don't read the spoilers. They're spoilers for a reason. I was going to give it a four, because I'm reluctant to give fives, but it would have been, like, a 4.83, so I rounded up.
(view spoiler)[I wondered early on if Alex might not have died, if maybe the Regulators saved him for punishment/reintegration, and just let everyone think he'd died. I wondered again when they mentioned that a bunch of prisoners escaped from the Crypts. And again when she got Julian out. But every time I convinced myself that I was trying too hard to predict things. Then she asked Raven about her mother, and Raven said, "A refugee from the Crypts escaped and showed up today; maybe they'll know." And I was like, "Oh, shit." (hide spoiler)]
And now I'm really frustrated that I have to wait for the next book. I also like that the summary of the next book focuses on the real plot. (view spoiler)[And not on the love triangle. (hide spoiler)](less)
Today, I shall write for you a simple review consisting entirely of bullet points. Kind of.
Good: ~A vampire dogma I haven't encountered before. I've r...moreToday, I shall write for you a simple review consisting entirely of bullet points. Kind of.
Good: ~A vampire dogma I haven't encountered before. I've read entirely too many vampire books, so I would know. ~A vision of Hell that isn't typical/fire and brimstone. Not my favorite version of Hell, but at least it wasn't a stereotype. ~Dominic's viewpoint. He didn't believe in the crazy stuff, but he eventually worked with it anyway to achieve the goal. ~Hell's ball-bearing energy-harvesting system. Imagine: sitting down doesn't just put your butt on a cushion; it helps charge the battery that lights your bedroom. It wouldn't be effective as the only energy source, but it's one of those every-little-bit-helps situations. And suddenly, your dad wouldn't yell at you for slamming the door anymore, because it'd be powering the air conditioner. ~The resolution/ending.
Bad: ~Olivia's viewpoint. Helloooooooo, melodrama! ~The word "cock." There are synonyms, you know. ~(view spoiler)[Olivia's aunt is the Wright woman. (hide spoiler)] Saw that coming. (Please excuse my Firefly reference.) As soon as she said "New York," I began to suspect; and when Olivia got on a flight from New York to Ireland, I knew. Way to surprise me. ~The goal. (See Good number 3.) (view spoiler)[You might be able to argue that it's finding sanity and saving the girl and blah blah, but really? (view spoiler)[The goal was screwing the girl. (hide spoiler)](hide spoiler)] ~The resolution/ending.
I know I put the resolution under both Good and Bad. I can't decide what I think of it. I like ambiguity, and this is definitely ambiguous; but it might be too ambiguous. (view spoiler)[I mean, by the end of the book, we still don't know which reality is really real and which reality is crazy hallucinations. (hide spoiler)] Since this was the first book of a series, perhaps this was the intention. I'm not sure. Which is kind of the point of ambiguity.
Conclusion: ~Neh. (Something between a "Nah," which is better than a "No," and a "Meh," which is indifferently neutral.) Yes, the Good and the Bad categories both have 5 items, and the Good category has more words in it. But the Bad items are more directed toward writing and plot, which are important book factors, and the Good items are more about details that are interesting, but that only effect the story peripherally. See there? I used "effect" as a verb, because that's the one that brings about change indirectly, which is how stuff like the way Hell is written changes the story. (I should just bookmark this review so I can always refer back to the comment that explains that. Thanks, Jennie.)
This concludes my bullet-point review. Adieu.(less)
**spoiler alert** While certain elements of Delirium remind me of Westerfield's Uglies series (brainwashing, anti-brainwashing contingents hiding out...more**spoiler alert** While certain elements of Delirium remind me of Westerfield's Uglies series (brainwashing, anti-brainwashing contingents hiding out in the woods, coming-of-age-surgeries, main character who can't wait – until...), sacrifice seems to be a theme in Oliver's books that make them different from all the rest. (I almost suspect a traumatic, sacrificial experience or a great love for A Tale of Two Cities.) Admittedly, I've only read two of her five novels, so I may be wrong, but each of these two novels end with some important character making some inevitable sacrifice that I have to accept, but don't want to. Before I Fall definitely affected me more, emotionally, but I thought more while reading Delirium, about politics and government, of all things. (Those of you who actually know me know that politics and government make my eyes glaze over in 30 seconds flat, if they don't infuriate and depress me first.) I don't claim to have done any deep, soul-searching, and I haven't reached any important conclusions, and I doubt I'll change my behavior regarding politics and/or government, but just getting me to think about it in vague "That's scary, 'cause it could happen" ways is quite an accomplishment. It's also quite an accomplishment when a novel makes me glad I live now; at least I don't live then. I suspect that I'm making Delirium sound awful and boring, but it isn't. It may be a little fast-paced for some (coughJenniecough), and maybe a little melodramatic for anyone who isn't a romantic (or doesn't want to admit they're a romantic), but I, at least, will be returning for the rest of the series (two more, already). Partly because I want to see the regime fall, but especially because I want to know more about Gracie. She's my favorite.(less)
I really, really liked this collection of science fiction. I should probably rate it a five-star, but I'm afraid I'll turn into a fiver or something,...moreI really, really liked this collection of science fiction. I should probably rate it a five-star, but I'm afraid I'll turn into a fiver or something, and give the books I read nothing but ratings of five and four will turn into an insult and that would just make me feel like a fool. Kind of like the way this review is doing. So, about Overclocked: I don't always like sci-fi books; I tend more towards the "fantasy" portion of the (somewhat illogical) "sci-fi/fantasy" genre pairing in the library. But Doctorow doesn't leave me feeling like I don't know what's going on, like some sci-fi does. Even though I know there were phrases he used in his stories, especially acronyms in "When SysAdmins Ruled the Earth", I got the point, and I didn't care if I didn't know exactly what everything meant. I spent two of my three hours of break yesterday reading these stories, and at no point did I feel like my brain was being beat into a pulpy mush by all the brainiac science stuff being thrown at it. I did, on occasion, stop and think of how much research Doctorow must have done to understand all the stuff he's writing about (again, especially the sysadmins story). But really, it probably doesn't feel like research to him, 'cause who would learn that much about this kind of stuff if it didn't interest them?(less)
My sister read and wrote a review of Clementine before I got to it, so I noticed things that she mentioned in her review that I wouldn't normally noti...moreMy sister read and wrote a review of Clementine before I got to it, so I noticed things that she mentioned in her review that I wouldn't normally notice: It was a fast-paced book; it lacked the sharing of background and history that Boneshaker had; it could probably be called more superficial. But I don't mind. Sometimes, a slow, leisurely exploration of a new place or culture or universe is enjoyable, the way curling up in front of the fire with a cup of hot chocolate and a book on a snowy winter afternoon is enjoyable. But Clementine is not fire and cocoa and book on a snowy day; Clementine is more like when we were kids driving with my dad, and he would take the corners as fast as he dared (which ended up never being more than the speed limit, apparently), pressing us all against doors or floating us into the space between seats, suspended in the middle of things (depending on which side of the car we were on). Clementine is brief and maybe lacking depth, but that doesn't make it less fun.(less)
So, I love alternate histories. I don't know why. Okay, maybe I just like them. A lot. But I really like this alternate history. I also think my siste...moreSo, I love alternate histories. I don't know why. Okay, maybe I just like them. A lot. But I really like this alternate history. I also think my sister's review pretty much covers my feelings, though I don't think about life enough to realize whether or not she and I actually share neuroses. But I liked all our good guys, and I disliked our bad guys, and the rotters were gross. My favorite parts are, really, any part where Briar or Zeke get all protective of the other. "I'm going to find my son," and, "That's my mother. You don't get to talk about my mother that way." And because I'm not feeling at all eloquent or coherent today, I'm going to stop there.(less)
My sister got me this book for Christmas one year. I can't remember which year, though I know it was less than three years ago. Which just goes to sho...moreMy sister got me this book for Christmas one year. I can't remember which year, though I know it was less than three years ago. Which just goes to show that I waited too long to read it. But that doesn't mean it was a bad book or that I didn't want to read it. I tend to give precedence to books I don't own because I have to give them back and usually, that means a fine if I don't give it back by a certain time. But I've developed a new system for reading books that rotates through three categories of book, one of which is books I own. So now, I've read the book Jennie got me for Christmas that one year. And it was good. And anything else I say will sound juvenile and ridiculous, so I'll just stop here.(less)